“What happened? Back in the good ole days I used to squat high weight regularly and run all the time with no problems at all! Now i can barely squat to pick something up without the feeling of a sharp blade sinking into my knees.” Have you ever heard this? Or perhaps thought the same thing for yourself? If so, you may have also thought that it could be signs of arthritis. The only problem is you don’t feel aches in any other part of your body. There is another condition that is very common, however most are not aware of it’s existence. It is called Chondromalacia.
Chondromalacia is a condition which oddly occurs most frequently in young, athletic people who otherwise would be considered healthy. Chondromalacia also tends to appear more often in women. The reason for this is still not certain. Some professionals say it is due to the anatomical differences. This condition is created and accelerated when someone is participating in rigorous physical activity. The most common obviously being running. This is caused when the inside surface of the kneecap gets irritated by rubbing against the side of and causes the cartilage to become inflamed. Also the knee cap itself becomes blistered. This translates into sometimes unbearable pain after a period of years.
Most would link this to some form of arthritis. However the good news is that Chondromalacia is actually treatable. Through a long series of therapy including flexibility exercises targeting the quadriceps and knee joints, usually healing can be found without an invasive surgery. However there are surgical options available for severe cases. During treatment it is important to continue exercise for your whole body without putting too much pressure on your knees. The preferred exercise is swimming. This provides a substantial cardiovascular workout without over stressing the knees.
Chondromalacia does tend to take quite a long time to completely recover from. The condition can also come back if one does not resume working out at a gradual rate. With determination and persistence most people will be able to recover from this condition and eventually be able to get back on their feet! If your knees hurt when you run, squat, or even walk, you should probably go see a doctor and investigate if this common condition could be what is bothering you.